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How To Find Your Target Audience

How To Find Your Target Audience
You may have had a chance to read our recent post on “The Importance of a Target Audience”. In that post, we took a deep dive on the relevance of finding a target audience, and the importance in targeting your audience in your marketing strategy. In this article, we will focus on how to find your target audience.
You have put in the long hours and finally finished making that killer product or service. You think your work is done, but no; it is only beginning. Now, you need to introduce people to the work you have spent so much time on. You need to show them why it is so unique. So, who are you going to be selling to? In other words, how do you find your target audience? 
Who is your Target Audience?
First thing’s first: who is the audience at the receiving end of your marketing efforts? As much as your product or service may appeal to a large group of people, it doesn’t make sense to market to everyone, logically and financially. You obviously want as many people to know about your business as possible, but the more potential customers you want to reach, the more time, effort, and money it is going to cost to do so.
Defining a target audience might feel like an unnecessary step in an already long process, but you have to remember that you are strategically choosing where to spend your time and money, which is very important in any data-driven marketing campaign. (If you need to go back to step one and learn about why you need a target audience, check out part 1 in this series, “The Importance of a Target Audience.”)
By selecting different target audiences, and focusing on the portion of the people who would be most interested in your products or services, you are allowing yourself to communicate and engage with that segment more personally. How does one even find their target audience? We created a step by step process to show you how to find your target audience, based on where you are now, and where you want to be in future campaigns.
Step 1: Consult your business plan
You created a business or product that you want to be successful, but what are your specific business goals? Once you have created a good list of goals, you need to analyze them, and figure out how you will be measuring your success. 
What needs does your product or service fulfill for a potential customer? How does your product or service differ from other product or services in your industry? Is your product more affordable? Is it more effective? You have to take many of these things into account before figuring out who will be on the receiving end of your marketing efforts. Think about who might be interested and who may BENEFIT from having access to what you offer. These are the people that will make up your target audience.
By identifying your selling points, you can move forward with finding your ideal target audience(s). As you consult your business plan and decide who you want your audience to be, remember it is ultimately about who is looking for the products and services that you offer. It isn’t as much about you as the seller as it is the consumer.
If you are already in business, defining your target audience can be as easy as looking at your best customers. Who are they, and what traits do they have in common? Do you have more success selling to a particular demographic? Who do you want to get in front of, and what do you already know about this group of people?
Step 2: Research
You need to know your competitors to be able to improve your company and ultimately find your target audience(s). Pull together important information about your industry, the market, your competition, and most importantly, the broad potential customer you have identified. How have your competitors marketed their products/services, and to who?
Another source to finding who your target audience is: your existing or best customers. If you want to find more of these people (and grow your customer base), find out what makes them tick. What interests them? How did they find out about your product/service? What did they like or dislike about it? The more information you have, the easier it is to identify and reach your target audience. 
If you already have access to a tool like a data management platform, you should also consult any audience analytics you have available to learn more about your consumers. For example, Lotame’s Audience Profile Report can give additional insights into your target audience’s behaviors, interests, actions, and demographics across screens. All of this information should be combined as you build your target audience for a holistic view and understanding of the consumer.
Step 3: Build Your Target Audience
Who are your ideal customers? Some people call these “buyer personas.” This profile shouldn’t just be a brief statement saying you need to target either males or females. It needs to be an in-depth description of who your typical customer may be and can include the most granular of information.
Demographics: This information can include anything from age to gender, geography, to marital status.
Psychographics: This information goes beyond the demographics and identifies more about a customer’s psychology, interests, values, attitudes, behaviors, and much more.
Technographic: This information relates to the devices. Software and other “technical” attributes of your audience.
ALL types of information are essential in developing your customer profile(s). The demographic information will help in identifying the type of person who will potentially buy your products and services. The psychographic information takes it a bit further, and helps you to understand the reasoning behind why the customer may make the purchase. Lastly, the technographic piece helps you to understand where to reach your different audiences and on what device.
Speaking of where your audience spends their time online, it is important to find out where they hang out.  What websites do they visit? Which social networks are they spending most of their time? Do they prefer email over other forms of communication?
This helps you create the right message, and place that message in the right setting. Chances are, if your audience is not checking their email a lot, they won’t see your email campaign. The information you put together for your customer profile, combined with knowing where your audience hangs out, online, will improve the delivery effectiveness of your message.
Step 4: Creating and Targeting your Audience
Now that you have successfully put together a list of target audiences for your marketing campaign, it is time to act on them. Through a DMP like Lotame’s, you can build an audience by  combining the relevant data points to create unique and targetable audience segments that are well aligned to the different messages you are using in the market.
Once the audiences are built, it’s time to start targeting! Lotame’s DMP has dozens of integrations with the leading DSP’s, trading desks, exchanges and ad servers, enabling our clients to export audience segments built within the Lotame platform directly to the chosen activation channel, to deliver and optimize campaigns against these segments. By utilizing a DMP, you can have complete control over your first-party data throughout the process, and continue to monitor and get additional insights throughout the life of the campaign.
Step 5: Rinse, Wash, Repeat
The work doesn’t end after you begin your marketing campaign and send out your waves of advertising to your target audiences. It is essential that you monitor the campaign performance to keep it competitive. How are people reacting to your ads? Are people clicking? Are they converting? You need to adjust your strategy if your marketing isn’t being effective with your target audience. Or, perhaps the people you thought were your ideal customers aren’t actually the ones you should be trying to reach? 
Before you start your marketing, you need to make sure you know how to track sales, interactions, request for information, and more. This way, you can stay ahead of the game, especially with your messaging and advertising environment.

As your business matures, keep following these steps. Your target audience may change as your business grows, and finding your target audience should be a continual effort. Regardless of where your business is, identifying your target audiences can push you one step closer to maximizing your ROI and reaching your overall business goals.